Smart Open Lisboa continues to unite the biggest players in different sectors in Lisbon with the most innovative startups to create a better user experience of the city for Lisbon’s citizens. Rethink spoke with Guillermo Campoamor, CEO of Meep, to get to know their work in the program and the future of mobility.
Meep App is a multimodal journey planner that combines all modes of transportation available in a city into a single app. With Meep, users can plan, book and pay for rides, eliminating the need to use more than one application.
Through the app, customers can choose the best way to reach their destination, according to their own priorities: being able to choose between the cheapest, the faster or the greener routes.
SOL Mobility Piloting
For their SOL Mobility pilot, Meep partnered up with Carris, Emel (specifically Gira, the bike sharing component) and CML (Câmara de Lisboa) to aggregate all transportation resources into a single app. Lisbon locals and tourists would be able to plan their daily routes using bicycles and buses. The Meep app would display real-time information for both the bus stops and bike stations so users will have the opportunity to combine both modes of transport in a single route, based on their preferences. Through this pilot, they hoped to improve the mobility ecosystem, making public transportation more attractive and increasing the accessibility of the city by creating routes that no one has previously provided.
RT: What were your goals in joining SOL Mobility?
GC: Our primary goal with SOL Mobility was to create a feasible pilot in Lisbon that would become a successful product deployment, integrating all transport operators in the city. We recognized that the participating partners in the program are key players in the mobility ecosystem who could, therefore, help us establish a network in Lisbon, and make it possible to deploy Meep as efficiently as possible. A very important component to our goal was to be able to adapt Meep to the local market. Thanks to the insights and mentorship we received through SOL Mobility, we managed to quickly adjust certain features within Meep to accommodate the unique characteristics of the city like creating a custom button through which users can apply their monthly pass.
RT: How was developing the pilot along with the partners?
GC: Developing the pilot with the partners added a valuable perspective to our experience in deploying Meep. We were able to observe and learn from the developments along the path to launch, especially changes and needs in integrations. For example, at the beginning, Carris and Gira were the first to jump onboard as principal partners, while Camara de Lisboa joined as an observer. As we made progress and our positive impact on the city spread, other partners outside the SOL mobility program like ecooltra and emov joined the platform. We also saw some partners, who had expressed interest from the start, have to opt out due to technical difficulties.
RT: What is the impact you believe an app like Meep can bring to the city of Lisbon?
GC: All features of Meep aim to improve city life and travel by decreasing the use of private cars and making transport more accessible, user-friendly and ecological. Through more efficient, integrated travel, Meep will reduce travel costs and conserve much-needed time for Lisbon residents. Further, by creating previously unexplored routes, remote areas will become more connected and therefore more livable. Meep will also make life easier and more mobile with in-app ticketing and payments – the next step in deployment. As we continue to develop, we hope the platform will serve as a mobility marketplace within which users can interact with the information in the platform and with each other, giving the city of Lisbon the most accurate and updated user behavior and data with which it will better serve the people.
RT: Are there any first results of success you can share?
GC: Thus far, we have seen Meep users in Lisbon use the app to create endless combinations of different transport modes between buses, bikes, motorcycles, metro (Gira) and scooters. We are growing fast, and more and more people are choosing Meep as their preferred transportation app. Since our recent launch in November, we have more than a thousand active users per week. For now, they are mostly younger techies who want a better way to move around.
RT: What are the next goals for Meep?
GC: Next goals for Meep in Lisbon are to add kick-scooters to the platform and to progressively integrate payments for current operators.
We are also actively increasing the area that Meep covers in Lisbon so that we can connect to other municipalities. We believe this is important for current and potential Lisbon Meep users because many of them commute back and forth on a regular basis.
We are excited to see how the app progresses in the city, and how we can use the data to advance city living and tourism.
Mobility as a Service
Meep believes they are an integrating part of a new business model – Mobility as a Service – that is rising to meet the new challenges of mobility in the cities.
The pressure of population growth, pollution, and traffic in the cities demand that we re-think how transportation services are currently provided and used, to streamline one of the most important parts of city living: getting around.
We can’t wait to see where Meep and Lisbon’s mobility solutions go next, and we’re also very excited about the startups on SOL Housing, the new vertical of Smart Open Lisboa, that kicked its Bootcamp this week – read about it here.